Press Release from the Democratic Party of the State of Tennessee, April 2, 2014:
State’s First Billionaire Governor Gives Himself Tax Breaks and Takes from Workers and Teachers
NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Roy Herron released the following statement today in response to Governor Bill Haslam’s proposal to slash cost of living adjustments for teachers and state workers:
“The state’s first billionaire governor, who is slashing his billionaire family’s inheritance tax bills by hundreds of millions, is taking away even meager cost-of-living adjustments from Tennessee’s state workers and teachers. Our Republican governor is giving himself tax breaks while breaking the backs of teachers, law enforcement, prison guards and child protection workers. It’s class warfare by the Republican rich against Tennessee’s working people and middle class.
“Two years ago, Governor Haslam brought legislation to abolish the inheritance tax, benefitting the mega-rich by hundreds of millions of dollars. This very special interest legislation is already costing the state over $90 million, and the cost-of-living adjustments for state workers and teachers this year would be but $72 million.
“Budgets are about choices, and the governor is choosing to enrich the Republican rich instead of paying teachers and workers what he promised.”
Background According to the 2012 Cumulative Fiscal Review conducted by the Tennessee General Assembly’s Fiscal Review Committee, the projected net decrease in state revenues from repealing the gift tax (listed as SB 2777) was $14,953,400 per year starting in FY 2012-2013 (which comes to $44,860,200 through FY 2014-2015). According to the same review, the projected net decrease in state revenues from phasing out the inheritance tax (listed as SB 3762) was $14,191,100 in FY 2013-2014 and is projected to be $32,876,200 in FY 2014-2015. So the projected total net decrease in state revenues resulting from repealing the gift tax and phasing out the inheritance tax comes to $91,927,500 through FY 2014-2015.
The 2012 Cumulative Fiscal Review can be found online here.